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"Arthur Takes the Kipper" is the twenty-sixth and final episode of the ninth season.

Story

Henry was thundering down the Main Line on a foggy night. He saw a fogman's red lantern warning him about danger ahead. Henry tried to apply his brakes; by the time he would have stopped he would be at the signalpost. But he realized that his brakes weren't working. "Oh, heeeeelp!" Henry blew his whistle long and loud enough. The fogman and gate-keeper at the near-by level crossing were quick to block the roads and allow the runaway to continue. Further up the line was Kellsthrope Bend. Sidney laid on his side; there were some broken tracks on his line that had caused him to derail. Sidney's driver and guard stood by; detonators were already on the tracks. Moments later- SMASH! CRASH! Henry had broken Sidney's cargo, which was under some tarpaulins. It was couches and chairs for the town of Kellaby. In the morning Harvey and Rocky arrived with workmen to clean up the mess. "Please don't be cross with me," began Sidney as Rocky lifted him onto a flatbed. "I followed all the rules leading up to the accident." "We know it's not your fault," soothed Rocky, who had put Sidney onto the flatbed. "Now, Henry, it's your turn." Henry had been damaged more seriously than Sidney; his front was completely busted up. "Ohhhhhh, who's going to finish delivering the fish?" asked Henry. "Never mind about the fish mate," said Harvey, "what matters is that you're alright - aside from damaging your buffers."


The news rapidly spread. Arthur was dropping off fish at the Wharf. "I hope Henry comes back to work soon; it must be miserable hanging about in the Steamworks," said Emily as she puffed away with her passengers for Norramby Beach. During his break Arthur went to Knapford to see Sir Topham Hatt. "Sir, may I please pull the Flying Kipper for Henry? Please!" "I don't know Arthur; you have your branchline to look after...I'll think about it," he said hastily, seeing Arthur becoming a little disappointed. "You still have a chance," whispered his driver kindly as they went back to the branchline. "He didn't say no, at least, not yet." That evening Arthur was being prepared for his nighttime duties when the Fishing Village Manager arrived. "Arthur, you've been given the job of pulling the Flying Kipper. The train leaves Brendam Docks at 4 in the morning." "But what about my other jobs?" "Another engine has been given your duties; please go to the Docks and wait there. You'll need your strength and speed to get the job on time." The Fishing Village Manager was right; he would need all his strength and speed to get the job done. Arthur left right on time and was soon speeding along the Main Line, stopping at station yards to drop off vans of fish. He finished the job at Vicarstown, where he took a little nap before heading back to his branchline. Arthur continued to pull the Flying Kipper for a while until Henry returned.


When Henry returned to work, he went to Tidmouth Sheds to see Sir Topham Hatt. "Henry, before I give you your jobs, I'd like to let you know about a change in your primary duties. Arthur has pulled the 'Flying Kipper' so well that he might be doing it-but I haven't made up my mind yet. Plans are still being talked about. Now, about your jobs..." Sir Topham Hatt told Henry to take children to and from Norramby Beach. As he puffed along the line all day he saw Arthur every now and then. "It's nice to see you back at work!" Henry just whistled a reply. "I don't want to talk to an engine who's taking over a job I've done for so long!" He was happy when he got to work on the Main Line beginning that evening. He was waiting in the sheds at Crovan's Gate yard for his stopping train to begin. "Hey Henry! Good to see you again." "Emily, do you have a moment." "Of course; what is it?" "Sir Topham Hatt is thinking about having Arthur pull the 'Flying Kipper' instead of me!" "It must have been difficult for you to focus on your work all day." "Indeed. I hope he comes to a decision soon." Henry's answer to his fear came sooner than later. The next morning as he was waking up at Tidmouth Sheds, Arthur arrived with Sir Topham Hatt. "I've made a final decision; you and Arthur shall both pull the 'Flying Kipper.' Arthur will pull it on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Henry, you'll pull it Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays." Arthur closed his eyes; he thought that Henry would be cross, but instead; "Thank you Sir! I'd be happy to share the train with him." "Good. Now Arthur, please take me back to my office."


Now Arthur and Henry are good friends; they whistle to each other whenever they pass by; and whenever they have a chance they talk about whatever they want; Arthur knows that Henry is proud of his forest, and Henry knows that Arthur is proud of his branchline. They like to show off their interests, and before long Henry showed James and Gordon that Arthur was a splendid engine who understood a bigger engine's needs, which made James and Gordon quick to like him too.

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